Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Hearing God's Frustrating, Wonderful Voice
1 Samuel 15-16
Samuel is one of the most curious of all bible guys. He's born destined to be a prophet. Talk about pressure. But he does it. Whatever God tells him, he does time after time, after time. Unlike most bible dudes, we see his life the whole way through, and even after death (1 Samuel 28).
In childhood he's humble, inquisitive and obedient. In adulthood he's courageous, sarcastic, blunt and exceedingly holy. He made peace and made war, forgave and condemned. There are few like him in all of scripture, who seem to follow God so completely. And yet his life is never easy, never simple, never what we would probably call "happy." I'm certain there was joy and laughter in his life that we are not shown - I think.
The thing that brings out a profound sense of awe in me as I read about Samuel, is the way he walked and talked with God all the time. Since he had the Spirit from birth - a prototype for how we are now meant to live in the Spirit - he walks and talks with God as few did.
Samuel: "Lord, I'm hungry. Don't have a dime for lunch. What now? "
God: "Take the next exit and turn right. There's a little BBQ place with a great tri-tip cut that I think you'll enjoy. Tell them I asked you to drop by. They'll understand."
That seems to be the kind of relationship they have. Curious. Wonderful. Frightening.
It's true that Samuel was a powerful prophet, but the more distinguishing characteristic of his life was the way he simply heard God; knew God. When I study Samuel I can't help but think God is saying, "This is how well I know you. This is the quality of friendship I want you to have with me."
How different life would be.
How about your life? What would this kind of intimacy with God mean for you?